Aubrey Plaza has been set to host the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which are set to air live from Santa Monica on February 23 on IFC. She will take over duties from John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, who co-hosted the marquee indie film event for the past two years.
This year’s ceremony will include a Best Feature race among Eighth Grade, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace and You Were Never Really Here.
“The search for a great Spirit Awards host is never easy,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh in a release Monday. “This year we said, let’s find someone funny, smart, a cinephile, being a great actor wouldn’t hurt, and it would be an added bonus if they’ve previously won a Spirit Award. Then we realized, oh wait, that’s Aubrey Plaza! So thank you Aubrey, for hosting the Spirits!”
Plaza won a Spirit Award last year as a producer of Ingrid Goes West, which took the Best First Feature win. She also starred in the Matt Spicer pic opposite Elizabeth Olsen. Her indie film cred includes recent starring roles in Little Hours and An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, and she’s next up the Child’s Play remake opposite Brian Tyree Henry due out next year.
The Spirits in recent years have generally been a predictor of what’s to come the following day at the Oscars, with Best Picture wins lining up between AMPAS and Film Independent for Moonlight in 2017, Spotlight in 2016, Birdman in 2015 and and 2014’s 12 Years a Slave.
Last year, the Spirits named Get Out its Best Feature, while the the Oscars went for The Shape of Water (the Fox Searchlight release wasn’t eligible as its production cost exceeded the Spirits’ maximum $20 million threshold.)